Mississauga’s First Vegan Café will be Closing Down – Jenny Le shares the story of The Cold Pressery
Mississauga, December 18, 2020: After over 5 years of business in the heart of Mississauga, The Cold Pressery will be closing its doors indefinitely on December 20th. As the very first all-vegan cafe in the city, their menu offered a variety of health-conscious smoothies, coffee drinks, sandwiches, and desserts that delivered delicious flavour.
Having handcrafted most of their meals in-house, The Cold Pressery worked closely with small businesses, such as Bloomer’s and Sweets From the Earth, to provide vegan donuts, muffins and cookies. The cafe reflected the essence of Mississauga, with chalkboard designs replicating the city’s skyline and the iconic Marilyn Monroe towers.
Founded in 2015 by Jenny Le, the concept of the health-conscious vegan café dates to her time in college, when she worked on a business project with a few friends. She said, “After graduation, I decided to explore the possibility of bringing it to life as I was very passionate about health foods and the culture of independent cafes. I started this business to share all my favourite things with the city I love. It allowed me to apply all the skills I’ve learned from my education and life experiences and served as an outlet for my creativity”.
Independent cafes such as The Cold Pressery bring character to any city. However, Mississauga was slow to adapt to this demand. “During 2014, juice bars were experiencing a rise in popularity, yet Mississauga didn’t have anything like it.Independent cafes were also very rare in Mississauga. I saw an opportunity to fulfill this need, took advantage of the resources I had and went for it”. adds Jenny.
A passionate entrepreneur like Jenny did not shy away from the hard work and the uncomfortable conversations about veganism. “Introducing the community to something new was both extremely terrifying and exciting. My team and I definitely spent the greater part of our business years trying to establish a clientele and educating our customers on veganism and cold pressed juices”.
Another major influence on The Cold Pressery’s origin and menu was when Jenny discovered the açaí bowl during her trip to Hawaii around 2013. “Açaí berries are common in tropical places but I don’t think many people had even heard of it here. It was a cross between ice cream and yogurt, it was tart with a hint of chocolate. The taste was so unique”. This sent Jenny on a quest to replicate the recipe herself. “When I got home, I googled all the places I could get açaí in Canada and the US. I travelled to try them and experimented with my own recipe until it was ready to be shared. The açaí bowl is special to me because it was such an integral part of my journey to building The Cold Pressery”.
Since the establishment of The Cold Pressery, veganism has only become more popular and accessible. Jenny and her team were always happy to inform new customers about the variety of delicious food veganism has to offer. Jenny recalls “I will always remember the feeling I get when a hesitant customer tries vegan food for the first time and genuinely enjoys it.
It makes what I do so much more fulfilling”. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, vegans and non-vegans alike flooded the café every day, travelling from Mississauga, Toronto, and Oakville. The Cold Pressery was able to operate since lockdown was first in effect earlier this year, offering take-out and delivery through uber eats. Unfortunately, these efforts were not sustainable for the long-term, and the café will not be in business in the new year.
The Cold Pressery is “the little vegan café that could”. Within the short five years of its business, the café developed a devoted following of supporters, which was a pleasant surprise to Jenny. “It was never my intention to place such a huge emphasis on building a community around The Cold Pressery. Somehow our tiny little cafe grew beyond our physical walls”.
Prior to the quarantine, The Cold Pressery used to host pop-up events with businesses such as The Studio Paint Bar, as well as open mic nights. Such opportunities have allowed Jenny and her team to build lasting connections. “We had the pleasure of connecting with so many like-minded businesses, independent artists, entrepreneurs, and of course our extremely loyal and supportive customers who have grown to become our friends”. Jenny and the staff have created an impact that transcends what they initially thought was possible. “The connections The Cold Pressery created for me are unforgettable and I hope everyone who we were lucky enough to encounter will remember us for the same experience”. The Cold Pressery will be greatly missed in the heart of Mississauga. The final day of business will be on Sunday, December 20th, 2020.